Conte also wins a vote of confidence in the Senate
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After the House of Representatives, the Senate Conte also expressed its confidence. He can keep his government afloat this way, but with a shrinking majority, new problems should not be long in coming.
D.he Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte also won the second vote of confidence in parliament. After the vote in the Senate on Tuesday evening, he can now stay in power. However, he only got 156 votes and scored 140 against himself, which reduces his majority compared to before – governing should now be more difficult for Conte. There were 16 abstentions, mostly from members of the small Italia Viva party. It left the center-left government last week, plunging Italy into political crisis.
The absolute majority in the Senate is 161. Now it is up to Conte to decide whether he can rely on enough support in the parliamentary chamber – to pass laws and, in particular, to pass economic aid in the corona pandemic. The center-right camp has already called for new elections, even if this option is considered the most unlikely in view of the hurdles in organizing an election campaign and ballot box in Corona times.
Before the vote, Conte appealed to the senators to compensate citizens for pandemic-related victims by voting for him and thus overcoming the political crisis. On Monday, Conte had already won the first vote of confidence in the House of Representatives.
For the withdrawal of Italia Viva from the coalition, its founder, ex-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, had received plenty of criticism. But he defended his political maneuver with the argument that otherwise Conte would unite too much power.
For months, a dispute has been revolving around the question of how around 200 billion euros from an EU Corona reconstruction fund should be used. The money is intended to help Italy out of years of economic misery that the pandemic has made worse. Renzi accused Conte of going it alone in deciding how to use the funds and complained that the Prime Minister often acts by decree and does not involve parliament.
In a speech in the Senate, Renzi insisted on his position: The government had not reacted courageously enough to the pandemic, this also applies to supporting the economy. “In view of the pandemic, a stronger government is needed,” said Renzi.